client: Virgin Experience Days
Meet Caribou Bob, front man for Virgin Experience Day’s Christmas 2014 marketing campaign ‘Make Giving Fun’.
As part of this campaign, Virgin Experience Days wanted to create an engaging ‘little helper’ to showcase the extensive range of Christmas gift experiences.
The decision to create a retro wooden toy figure answered the brief which looked for a fun but classy vibe to appeal to Virgin Experience Days customer demographic. The addition of antlers and snug winter clothes created a more festive look.
Bob was my first project fully using MODO. I have found that the best way to learn new software is to just start working with it, learning as you go and looking into certain areas if you get stuck!
Working in this way I've found the whole process of using MODO really good, and can't wait to use it on more projects.
Below are the wireframe images of Caribou Bob.
From experience, I knew that on the Virgin Experience Days web site ‘Bob’ will be mainly seen sitting in the corner of banners, looking up at the products above / to the side of him. So for the early stage of design these were the poses I went for.
Once I was happy with the general character design, I went away and completely remodelled him. The topology of the early model wasn't the best as I was still learning, and since I'd already worked out the design, it didnt take too long to do this. This time I modelled him in a standard T pose, so I could then rig him. Although I didn’t have plans to animate this model, I knew we’d need to create lots of different poses (sometimes at short notice) so it made sense to spend some time getting a decent rig and weight maps done for Caribou Bob.
Most of the expression for Caribou Bob comes through his face, more specifically his mouth. To make sure I could capture lots of different emotions quickly, I've used a separate UV map just for the mouth, saved as a PSD to quickly toggle between the layers with different expressions. Here's a few of them below.
As Caribou Bob will feature on all Virgin Experience Days Christmas marketing collateral, he needed to be flexible. Here's a few of the more case specific renders I worked on, showing Caribou Bob opening a Virgin Experience Days gift packs, talking on the phone, and of course, taking a selfie!
We ran a social media competition inviting Virgin Experience Days customers to name the new character. Since the early stages of UV-ing and texturing ‘Bob’ he always had the name tag on him, the below was the shot used to announce the winner.
Bob wasn't only a toy, I experimented to see if I could make him look more human. I decided against this as he lost a lot of character, although he does make a pretty cool ninja!
The Virgin Experience Days Christmas Campaign is still in full swing, so there'll be lots more Caribou Bob to come.
Over Christmas 2014 you can see lots more of him over at www.virginexperiencedays.co.uk, newsletters and social channels.